Sunday, September 1, 2013

Halibut with Braised Romaine and Cumin Brown Butter Sauce

I may have forgotten to mention this, but Boyfriend and I are poor, so my dad took us on a grocery shopping trip a few weeks ago. When we got home, Boyfriend and I inventoried all of the food, spices, and sauces that we had in our pantry and have made countless meals using only the things my dad bought us and things we already had. It's been really fun and really productive!

We just finished eating this halibut dish, and I can honestly say that this is my favorite halibut recipe. The crunch of the radishes, the depth of the mint, the unexpected bite of cumin, and the way that the lettuce absorbs every bit of flavor made for a different experience in every bite.

(Adapted from Food & Wine)


  • 1 pound new potatoes (These are basically baby potatoes. Like baby corn, they are sweeter and softer. They come in a variety of colors. If you can't find them, red potatoes work also!) 
  • 2 serrano chiles, one halved lengthwise, one seeded and thinly sliced
  • 3 mint sprigs—leaves chopped, stems reserved
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 large radishes, quartered lengthwise
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 small romaine hearts—large inner leaves halved lengthwise and small leaves left whole
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Four 6-ounce skinless halibut fillets
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


  1. In a medium saucepan, cover the potatoes with water. Add the halved serrano, the mint stems and a generous pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cook over moderate heat until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. 
  2. Drain the potatoes and let cool slightly; discard the chile and mint stems. Cut the potatoes in half.
  3. In a very large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the radishes and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat until just softened, 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Fold in all of the romaine and the sliced serrano.
  5. Add the broth and cook over moderate heat, tossing, until the lettuce is just wilted and the radishes are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.
  6. Stir in the potatoes and the chopped mint and season with salt and pepper; transfer to a bowl and keep warm.
  7. Wipe out the skillet and melt the butter in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil.
  8. Season the halibut with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat until the butter is golden and the fish is browned on the bottom, 3 minutes. Turn the fish.
  9. Add the cumin to the butter and cook, spooning the butter over the fish until just cooked through, about 3 minutes.
  10. Transfer to plates; spoon the vegetables alongside.
  11. Add the lemon zest and juice to the skillet; season with salt and pepper.
  12. Spoon the brown butter over the fish and vegetables and serve.

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